Junior Barber scored an incredible 21 points in the fourth quarter to help lead LaFayette to an impressive 82-69 Region 6-AAA road win over Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe. The senior guard's blocked shot on defense late in the third quarter seemed to energize him offensively as he connected on three 3-pointers in the final period.
"When I got that block in the third quarter it added a lot of spark to me," said Barber, who finished with 25 points. "A defensive play gave me some motivation because it really hyped up our crowd on the road. When I hear them, that's when I start going."
LaFayette 6-foot-6 senior post Aidan Hadaway was also sensational as the Ohio University commitment finished with 43 points, 18 rebounds and five blocked shots in the battle of unbeatens.
"I just went out there and played as hard as I could, like I do every time I step on the court," said Hadaway, who dominated in the paint with nice moves and great shooting touch. "I loved the atmosphere. Also what Junior did in the fourth quarter is something I see from him every day in practice. He's such a naturally gifted scorer and playmaker and I love playing alongside him."
LaFayette (15-0) held off a determined LFO (14-1), which was led by juniors Brent Bowman and Jamichael Davis. Bowman had 34 points and four 3-pointers while Davis finished with 27 points to go with 12 rebounds and four steals.
The Warriors held a 59-51 lead early in the fourth quarter after Davis' 3-pointer, but could not hold on against a determined Ramblers.
"We were down early in the fourth quarter and I could tell during a timeout by the look in my guys' eyes that they didn't have a bit of doubt," LaFayette coach Hank Peppers said. "They are so resillient. We have played in crazy environments, against state champions, you name it. These guys back down from nothing.
"What Junior did in the second half was one for the storybooks. I see that from him and Aidan every day in practice. No one works harder than those seniors. I am so proud of them."
Brainerd 74, Marion County 53: Dennis Lewis Jr. and Joshua Hood each scored 18 points and made four 3-pointers for the Panthers who had big first and third quarters in a district road victory. Quintus Broadnax was also sharp for Brainerd with 16 points on eight made field goals. Nathan Hoback led the Warriors with 16 points while Donovan Pickett made a three 3-pointers and Brody Leonard added 13 points.
Signal Mountain 69, Hixson 46: The Eagles had five scorers in double figures led by Ben Timblin's 17 points and Chris Kennedy's 14.
Red Bank 68, Arts & Sciences 58: The Lions picked up a big road win as Nick Smith had 16 points, six assists and four steals. Reco Trimble added 16 points and five assists while Erik Alex made all six of his shots and finished with 13 for Red Bank.
Howard 58, Ooltewah 55: The Hustlin' Tigers outscored the Owls 21-13 in the fourth quarter and were led by Jadon Jenkins' 21 points. Raymos McGee was sharp for Ooltewah with 21 points while Deleon Petty added 14.
South Pittsburg 68, Sale Creek 44: Freshman Walker Thomas scored 20 points on 10 made field goals while Reggie Hunter and Racash Kelly combeined for 27 points to lead the Pirates to victory. Sale Creek's Zach Howard finished with 18 points.
Van Buren County 84, Whitwell 35: Canyon Frady made six 3-pointers and scored 24 points while John Allen added 14.
East Hamilton 69, Central 34: An extremely well-balanced scoring attack for the Hurricanes was paced by Ashton Munson who made three 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 14 points. Big men Cade Pendleton and Zachariah Laboo each had 12 points.
Baylor 76, Chattanooga Christian 33: Senior Eli Sparkman scored 21 points and made five 3-pointers all in the first three quarters for a region home victory. Red Raiders freshman Zane Restelli also added 15 points while Nyziah Whaley had 13. Eighth grader Reid Conley led CCS with 13 points.
McMinn County 70, Bradley Central 58: Ty Runyan made 6-of-7 field goal attempts and all three of his 3-pointers to finish with 18 points for the Cherokees who also received 20 points, eight rebounds and two blocks from Hayden Smith. Bradley's Brandon Shumbera scored 20 points and made 10 free throws.
Northwest Whitfield 58, Heritage 44: The Bruins (11-3, 3-3) won the crucial Region 7-AAAA game, handing Heritage (8-6, 4-1) its first league loss as Payton Baker had 17 of his 22 points in the second half and Will Anderson eight of his 12 points in the first quarter when Northwest built an early double-digit lead. Chandler Jackson added 10 for the Bruins, while Kaleb Gallman led Heritage with 17 points.
East Hamilton 78, Central 19: McKenna Hayes led the way with 23 points while Niya McGhee and Morgan Bone each had 11 for the Lady Hurricanes.
Ooltewah 61, Howard 23: Jordan McCollough scored 19 of her 24 points in the first half for the Lady Owls, who also received 12 points from Faith O'Donnnell.
Bradley Central 62, McMinn County 32: Karsee Weber and Hannah Jones each had double-doubles for the Bearettes. Weber finished with 15 points and a team high 11 rebounds. Sloan Carpenter had seven assists and four steals in the win.
Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe 84, LaFayette 47: The Lady Warriors improved to 16-0 as Angel Simmons had 25 points (five 3-pointers) while Christen and Christina Collins added 21 and 19 points, respectively. Jenna Baker led the visitors with 19 points.
Ringgold 45, Sonoraville 33: Baileigh Pitts had 22 points and six rebounds and Rachel Lopez 14 points and eight assists as the Lady Tigers (12-4, 6-2) won the Region 6-AAA game.
Dalton 54, Carrollton 43: The Lady Catamounts (11-2, 6-1) handed Carrollton (14-1) its first loss of the season in the Region 5-AAAAAA game as Grace Ridley had 19 points and 15 rebounds and Emma Helfner added 13 points.
Game reports compiled by Patrick MacCoon and Lindsey Young. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.